I got to work the biggest squirt gun in the world.
During a recent Back of House Media Tour in Las Vegas, a few members of the media had the opportunity to venture into the control room of the Bellagio Fountains alongside Tom Pinney, its Head Engineer.
Pinney and his crew spend their day surrounded by tools, pipes, sprockets nozzles and hoses – keeping one of the Strip’s most iconic free attractions spouting off every 30 minutes (wind permitting), seven days a week.
Hotel visitors who know to ask can visit “The Bellagio Bat Cave” – a tunnel hiding in plain sight that allows work crews to paddle out to the fountains guts.
“The Fountains use 5,000 lights and more than 1,200 water-shooters,” Pinney said. “(The shooters) come in three different sizes. We have to repair and change out the components as they break down or rust.”
VIPs (hotel guests intrigued enough to ask) are invited inside the secret control center of the fountains where they can choose a song and order the prancing fluids into life. After a stroll through the workshop and offices, a one story ladder – like something out of a submarine movie – leads to a room full of computers and monitors overlooking the pool.
After all the dramatic buildup toward holding dominion over a Vegas landmark, controlling the fountains consists of a couple keystrokes. But, it’s an amazing show from such close quarters.
Hotel guests hoping for dominion over the Bellagio water works should contact the hotel at (702) 693-7111.